Most nutritionists would recommend stocking up on avocados. One website touts as many as “19 science-backed health benefits” of the fruit.
They’re hailed as being high in fibre and monounsaturated fat, which means they’re good for the heart. Avocados are also packed with minerals and vitamins – including B6, which gives the sex drive a boost. Studies have shown that people who eat them regularly have a better chance of losing inches from their waistline.
By all accounts, they are something of a miracle food. Ironically, though, it’s difficult to find a healthy avocado in Hong Kong – one that is green, smooth and creamy inside. More often than not they are either too hard or have gone rotten. Buying avocados is a game of chance.
Choosing a ripe one is simple enough, in theory. Just give it a gentle squeeze. If it’s too squishy, it may be overripe and useless. Most avocados in local supermarkets are rock hard, however. Buy the fruit and you’ll have to wait a few days for them to ripen. By the time they have softened, slice them open and you’re usually dismayed to find that the nutritious fruit you’ve been hoping to savour for breakfast is already mouldy grey, musty smelling and dried out.
I recently bought two for HK$30 from a neighbourhood deli, soft to the squeeze but not too squishy. The following morning, I cut into one and was disappointed to find it was already past its prime. I took the second one from the fridge, sliced it open and found it in an equally advanced state of decay.
I wish I could have (my) HK$15 (back) for every time I’ve looked forward to a healthy avocado only to slice into a dud. Gambling on a good avocado in Hong Kong is like throwing money in the bin. It’s not just a local headache, though. I’ve discovered there are thousands of pages on the internet dedicated to this particular first-world problem.
Hong Kong’s start-up tech community is always talking about how success stems from finding solutions to common problems – although many local apps are in reality copycats of technologies that have succeeded elsewhere. So here’s an opportunity to produce something truly innovative. Could you please invent an app that can X-ray an avocado before a customer hands over their cash?